Thursday, October 19, 2017

Working With A Coach {{Update}}

If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you know I recently started working with a running coach.

Although I still consider myself a fairly new runner (or at least a "late onset runner"), I have a decent number of races under my belt. (I guess I'm not that new to the running scene, but I swear 2012 was just yesterday, wasn't it?!) Thus far I've tackled 37 half marathons, 14 full marathons, 3 ultra relays and handfuls of shorter races during my running career.

For the majority of those races I followed a standard training plan (normally one I found online or one put together by a friend). Seeing as I'm not planning on winning races anytime soon (or EVER), that strategy seems to work perfectly fine.

When I started pondering the type of training plan I'd want to use for my next BQ attempt I did what everyone does... I got on social media! I polled runners, asking them what training plan(s) they've found to work best for them (I wasn't sure if there was a new fad in the running world I should be considering). As luck would have it, friends of mine who own a pacing company in Utah have been working with runners (both elites and amateurs) and offered to coach me.


I worked with them from April to October and have nothing but AMAZING things to say about the whole experience.

When I started, I did a fitness assessment with a thorough evaluation of my current fitness level, my racing history, and training goals. I even did a couple time trials the first week so that we knew my baseline (numbers don't lie...).

One of my tests was a 10 minute warm-up, 5K run, and a 10
minute cool-down. #RealTalk - Before working with a coach
I NEVER did warm-ups or cool downs...

Throughout my time working with them, I received weekly personalized training plans (in 3-5 week outlines), weekly evaluations of training sessions (and not only the data, but also how I was feeling mentally and physically), unlimited email/phone/messaging communication and goal-setting mentoring. During the six months we re-tested my anaerobic and Vo2 Max thresholds that were used to calculate my pace and intensity to allow for fine tuning on my training.

Seeing as I had never worked with a coach before I wasn't necessarily certain what to expect. This crew went above and beyond (and I believe they do this with each and every one of their clients). I'll be honest, they asked a lot of me... But not in a bad way! My training plan had paces on it that I never would have thought I could hit (and, #RealTalk, some that I never did). But they weren't pushing me outside of my comfort zone for the fun of it. First, I asked for it because I had BIG goals I wanted to work towards. Second, they knew what I my body was capable of achieving. They believed in me, even when I didn't, and helped me feel confident in chasing down my BHAG {big hairy audacious goals}.


I knew that no matter what the time on the clock said when I crossed the finish line of my goal race, I was beyond proud of what we were able to accomplish during this training cycle (and, yes, I say "we" because although I personally ran the miles, they guided me every step of the way). I pushed my paces and ran times I would have never expected possible. Whether or not I hit my goals, I was going to finish the Chicago Marathon with my head held high because I knew that the race itself was just the victory lap - the hard work was done during those hundreds of training miles. [Spoiler alert, in case you didn't read my race on Monday, I SMASHED my goals and couldn't be more stinkin' excited!]

If you are looking for a coaching staff to help you reach your running goals (whether that is finishing your first half marathon or training to qualify for the Boston Marathon), I would definitely suggest you check out RYR Training.


Have you ever worked with a running coach?


Unknown said...

I am a certified running coach through the RRCA but I did it just so I could learn more about the sport and train better. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just hire someone to do it for you. If I ever get back in tip top shape I'll consider one for a BQ, but my times right now are far from that!

Anne said...

Not what you asked, but dude. You are NOT a new runner anymore! Sorry! You have done SO MANY amazing things, and SO MANY races, and...yeah, it's been 5 years. :D So embrace it - you are a runner. And a good one at that!